If you’re interested in an overview of how and where we make HEMA’s strong organic cotton rompers, watch our video.
of our wood, paper and bamboo products are FSC© certified
of our fresh deli meats carry a ‘Better Life 1’ star since 2018
The raw materials we use for our products have an impact on the world around us. Therefore it’s important that we make well-informed choices. To cement these choices we drew up a sustainability policy for the resources and raw materials we use most for our products. Focussing on raw materials that we use in large volumes enables us to make a bigger impact. The most important raw materials for which we have set objectives are cotton, wood, paper, coffee, tea, cocoa, fish and palm oil. We also aim to purchase other resources more sustainably.
Do you see a green leaf on the packaging of a HEMA product? This tells you that for this product, we purchased more sustainable raw materials that have the smallest possible environmental impact. It also shows that the product is produced in accordance with standards that ensure good working conditions and animal welfare. You can find the green leaf stamp on the packaging of textile and hardware products. Our food products are also produced with the greatest possible care, as demonstrated by the familiar logos and labels.
All cotton at HEMA is sustainably sourced. We use several quality standards: Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Organic Content Standard (OCS) and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). To make things easier we introduced recognisable own logos for “Responsible” (BCI) and “Organic” Cotton (OCS and GOTS).
Last year, we sourced 4.4 million kilos of Better Cotton, enabling BCI to train almost 5500 cotton farmers in more sustainable farming practices. BCI measures the improvements of farmers who are part of their programme with comparison farmers who are not part of the initiative. Thanks to the training programmes, farmers in China used 26% less water for irrigation during the 2015-2016 season, while farmers in India used 20% less pesticides than comparison farmers. We use the Responsible Cotton logo on the cotton products that we source as Better Cotton.
For more information, see https://www.bettercotton.org.
The organic cotton used for our products has been certified by one of the two following worldwide standards: the Organic Content Standard (OCS) or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). These can be recognised by the “Organic Cotton” logo. Organic farming excludes the use of chemical substances, which is better for cotton farmers and better for the environment. Organic cotton is used in many of our products, such as this basic wardrobe item T-shirts en sokken.
In the future, HEMA wants to increase the use of recycled materials in its products and packaging. In this way we can make the best possible use of materials and contribute to the move towards a more circular economy.
Our new rPET duvets made from pet bottles are a good example of such recycling.
In collaboration with our supplier, we developed a HEMA duvet and pillow with a significantly reduced environmental impact while having the same insulating and moisture-regulating properties as our other synthetic duvets. For an even better night’s sleep!
The filling of the sustainable duvet and pillow is made from fibres of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) materials, originating from collected, post-consumer (soft drinks) bottles. These residual materials consist mostly of PET bottles and other PET packaging, collected through various channels in a number of European countries including the Netherlands and Germany.
The PET materials undergo a strictly monitored sorting, grinding and washing process and are then transformed into flakes in a Dutch recycling plant. These flakes are then melt blown into fibres which are used as filling for the duvets and pillows.
The use of recycled PET (rPET) substantially reduces CO2 emissions and the quantity of residual materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. This makes rPET an excellent alternative to traditional synthetic or down filling. Furthermore, the insulating and moisture-regulating properties of the rPET duvet are equal to those of our other synthetic duvet. The covers of the rPET duvet and pillow are made of 100% organic cotton, which means they are lovely and soft and easy to wash.
By 2022, 100% of our wood and paper products should come from responsibly managed forests. This includes a wide range of products, such as notebooks, handkerchiefs and photo frames. We follow the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). These standards guarantee that no illegal harvest has occurred, and that the forest ecosystems are protected. Currently, 30% of our wood and paper products are FSC® certified. Want to know more? See www.fsc.nl.
At HEMA we are committed to the use of sustainably sourced raw materials for our products. For this reason you will find 100% UTZ certified cocoa at HEMA. By purchasing UTZ certified cocoa, HEMA supports sustainable farming in West Africa. The UTZ mark on our chocolate means that cocoa farmers are trained to use better farming techniques. In addition, farmers have good working conditions and the work is carried out with respect for the environment.
UTZ helps HEMA make a positive impact on the areas where cocoa is grown and harvested. For more information about UTZ, see www.utz.org.
Our ambition is to use meadow milk or organic milk for all our dairy products in 2020. Some of our dairy products already meet meadow milk standards. To make this clearer to our customers, we have placed Stichting Weidegang’s meadow milk logo on our products. In 2018, 58% of our dairy product range carried the meadow milk logo. Milk with this quality mark comes from farms where cows graze in meadows for at least 120 days a year for a minimum of 6 hours a day. The cows are free to graze outdoors and have sufficient space to move around.
For more information, click here https://www.weidemelk.nl/.
We think that is it important that the fish products we sell help to improve fishing standards. An increasing number of our fish products carry the MSC or ASC marks. In 2018, 34% of HEMA’s fish products carried the MSC or ASC marks. By choosing fish products with the MSC mark, customers can be certain they are purchasing fish that has been caught in the wild using sustainable methods. The ASC mark is used for farmed fish and shellfish and guarantees that sustainable fish farming methods have been used.
Improving the welfare and conditions of animals is also important to HEMA. Our meat products have carried the ‘Beter Leven’ mark since 2017. ‘Beter Leven’ is a Dutch foundation that monitors and certifies the conditions and welfare of farm animals. All HEMA’s hams currently have a one star ‘Beter Leven’ rating. Our ambition for the future is to purchase only meat products that are produced in a more animal friendly way. In 2018, we also decided to certify our bakery products with the ‘Beter Leven’ mark. Our bakeries produce products like sausage rolls every day. We expect that these products will carry the one star ‘Beter Leven’ mark in 2019.
For more information, see www.beterlevenkeurmerk.nl
All our coffee is sustainably certified with the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ label.
Rainforest Alliance certification stands for better working conditions and environmental protection. The mark is also dedicated to protecting biodiversity and nature conservation in tropical forest areas. In this way we support nature conservation in the coffee growing regions.
For more information about Rainforest Alliance, go to www.rainforest-alliance.org
single origin coffee
In 2017 we added three single origin coffees with the Rainforest Alliance mark to our coffee range. These South American coffees from Brazil, Columbia and Honduras can be traced back to the individual coffee plantations. One of the cooperatives we purchase coffee from is Kachalu Coffee Farmers in the highlands of Columbia. Kachalu’s objective is to produce high quality coffee with respect for people and the environment. The cultivation of this coffee goes hand-in-hand with the conservation of the rainforest and achieving a better price for farmers.
Brazil is the biggest coffee producing country in the world. Our coffee, a spicy and full-bodied coffee bean is grown at Fazenda Catuai Berrador and Fazenda Nova Suica. These two single estate coffee plantations are managed by the Veloso family. In this area, coffee is cultivated with due consideration for native plants and animals.
The batch number of coffee Brasil is 171101-16256.
These mild, perfectly balanced coffee beans are grown in Honduras, where almost a third of the population works in the coffee industry. Our coffee was produced by the Finca Santa Isabel coffee plantation, which makes sustainable use of the land, water and forests to produce the coffee.
The batch number of coffee Honduras is 171101-16255.
Our Colombian coffee beans are grown by the Kachalu Coffee Farmers in the highlands of Colombia. The Kachalu farmers are committed to cultivating high-quality Arabica beans with respect for people and the environment. The coffee plants on these farms are shaded by a large variety of native trees. Thanks to the conservation of biodiversity in the Kachalu farm region, it is home to around a hundred bird species.
The batch number of coffee Colombia is 171101-16257.
The word UTZ is derived from the Mayan language and means ‘good’. UTZ is a worldwide certification programme for coffee, tea and cocoa. The UTZ quality mark focuses on quality and product improvement by training farmers.
Apart from our UTZ certified coffee, all HEMA chocolate products also carry the UTZ quality mark. You will also find the UTZ mark on our basic range of teas.
For more information about UTZ, see www.utz.org
Our organic tea and loose-leaf tea in cans are Fairtrade certified.
The Fairtrade quality mark stands for honest trade practices. It helps farmers and workers in developing countries achieve a better position in the commercial chain so that they can earn a living from their work and invest in their future. The Fairtrade standard is characterised by a transparent minimum price and bonus. The farmers’ cooperative or plantation workers decide together how they want to spend the bonus.
The Kotada and Welbeck tea plantations are located in the south of India, at a height of 2000 metres. These are the plantations from which we purchase our Fairtrade organic tea and loose leaf tea in tins. For every kilo of tea, the tea pickers are paid a social premium determined by Fairtrade. This extra premium is used to invest in important areas such as healthcare, education and pension programmes. By choosing for HEMA Fairtrade tea you are helping local communities in India.
In 2017 we purchased 25,000 kilos of Fairtrade certified tea for the different HEMA tea varieties.
For more information about Fairtrade, see www.maxhavelaar.nl.
Palm oil has a high profit margin per hectare compared to other oil products. For this reason it is one of the most widely used ingredients in the food industry. However, non-sustainable palm oil production is leading to deforestation in South-East Asia. HEMA also uses palm oil for its food and cosmetics products. We came close to achieving our 2017 target of purchasing 100% more sustainable RSPO palm oil for our food range. In 2017 99.5% of the palm oil used in our food products was certified according to the RSPO standard. The remaining non-certified products will be certified in 2018. We’re also looking into ways to remove palm oil from our food products altogether without negatively affecting the taste or texture.
Removing palm oil from cosmetics is more complicated, as palm oil is used in a multitude of complicated ingredients and makes up only a fraction of the final product. We are making clear agreements with cosmetics suppliers that do not yet purchase RSPO certified palm oil to ensure that they make the switch to RSPO.
Want to know more? See www.rspo.org.